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Be prepared: Is your business ready to face an emergency?

May 25, 2011 - Tags: Managing, Planning

Istock 000002537080xsmallThis guest blog post is provided by Public Safety Canada which is responsible for national security and the safety of Canadians.

Recent world events have shown us that disasters can be both unpredictable and devastating. Major emergencies can occur at any time and have serious implications for businesses as well as citizens at large. Disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and impact of whatever emergency you might face – whether natural or human-induced.

You won't be able to properly run a business if you are struggling to sustain yourself during an emergency. By being prepared, you will be better equipped to take care of your family as well as your enterprise. Here are three things you can do right now for yourself and your business to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies:

  • Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to your area can help you better prepare.
  • Make a plan – It will help you, your employees, and your family know what to do if phone lines or certain locations aren't accessible.
  • Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours or three days.

Employee preparedness

Being a good employer also means looking out for your most valuable resource – your employees. Share information on emergency preparedness with your employees and encourage them to take concrete steps to become better equipped to face a disaster by:

  • Giving them a 15-minute presentation on emergency preparedness and remind them of the importance of being able to sustain themselves and their families for 72 hours after a major emergency.

  • Distributing publications and other materials, including what to do in specific disasters such as a flood or earthquake.

  • Including the convenient 3-Steps to Emergency Preparedness fold-out brochure with their next pay stub.

Business continuity planning

Once you make it through an emergency, you still have a business to run. The reality is that just as your life will need to resume normalcy, so too will your customers' and stakeholders' demands persist. Help your business to withstand a disruption and return to work as quickly as possible by having a business continuity plan in place. If you don't know where to start, check out our guide on business continuity planning for help.

To learn more about how to prepare for an emergency, visit GetPrepared.gc.ca or follow us on Twitter @Get_Prepared.

Comments

I agree with the post totally.One should always have a plan on how to face the upcoming hurdles.

By bossagain on May 26, 2011

I am intrigued by the Home page entitled Canadian Business, Services for
Entrepreneurs - I cannot seem to download - can I receive - information on these topics:
- Details on Services for entrepreneurs
- Financing and funding options for new and established small business
- Special funding available for target groups (e.g.women, minority, at risk
neighbourhoods)
- Other (of interest)
Our organization Storefront serves a low income neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ontario designed to provide an alternative to EI an drive economic growth locall we are developing a community based business incubator.
Sincerely
Churchill Piggott

By Churchill Piggott on June 9, 2011

Larger enterprises tend to have more resources to run business continuity and disaster recovery programmes. SMBs continue to trruggle with time and cost tradeoffs. A quick way to get to the goal line is to partner with a reputable vendor who can provide advice, services and technology to develop and support the plans.

I just participated in a table top exercise that walked us through a reasonable “disaster”. We found some strengths and found some gaps, which we are closing.

By az on September 12, 2011

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